“Only sing songs you really love.” —pianist Henry Schniewind
Shepley was born in San Francisco, grew up in Providence, RI, and for decades has called Cambridge, MA, home. She sang folk music in college in the ‘70s, then put down the mic until 1990, when she and singer/songwriter Catherine Coleman formed Cabaret Enchanté. For five years they performed Coleman’s original music, standards and French chansons in Boston clubs and live on Ron Della Chiesa’s WGBH radio show, “Music America.”
Her vocal career went to the back burner again from 1998 to 2007, while she worked as director of communications at Pine Street Inn, New England’s largest homeless shelter, but she has returned to it with purpose and passion. Attending The Tuscany Project, a 10-day intensive vocal workshop held in Italy, helped launch her return. It was there she met the fabulous pianist Ron Roy, a workshop faculty member; they later began working together and developing their repertoire. In 2010 they became the first U.S. musicians to perform and record a new songbook by lyricist Fran Landesman; the CD earned a four-star/excellent review from Jazzwise Magazine. Shepley then dove into creating a show of music by a singer/songwriter she’d adored for decades, Laura Nyro.
Shepley’s album Don’t Bother to Knock, created with pianist Ron Roy, features forgotten but fantastic songs written in the 1930s to ’50s. After celebrating the album release with a New York City show, they debuted a new show, Going Places, at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. Stops for Going Places included New York City and Cape Cod.
Shepley Metcalf sings “How Was It For You” by Fran Landesman and Simon Wallace at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on March 19, 2011. Janice Friedman on piano, Chris Rathbun on bass, and Gene Roma on drums.